Shroud of Turin Facts

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Travertine Aragonite Has Profound Implications

Joseph Kohlbeck, Resident Scientist at the Hercules Aerospace Center in Utah, and
Richard Levi-Setti of the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago, examined embedded dirt particles taken from the Shroud’s surface. The dirt was found to be travertine aragonite limestone.

Using a high-resolution microprobe, Levi-Setti and Kolbeck compared the spectra of samples taken from the Shroud with samples of limestone from ancient Jerusalem tombs.

The chemical signatures of the Shroud samples and the tomb limestone were identical except for some minute fragments of organic cellulous linen fiber that could not be separated from the Shroud samples.

Kolbeck acknowledges that this is not absolute proof that the Shroud was in Jerusalem and that there might be other places in the world -- though none are known and it is statistically unlikely any will be found -- where travertine aragonite has the identical trace chemical composition. It is also slightly possible though highly implausible that this dirt was applied by a forger.

  The scientific study of the Turin shroud is like a microcosm of the scientific search for God: it does more to inflame any debate than settle it.”

  And yet, the shroud is a remarkable artefact, one of the few religious relics to have a justifiably mythical status.

  It is simply not known how the ghostly image of a serene, bearded man was made.”

Scientist-Journalist Philip Ball
Nature, January 2005

Nature, that most prestigious of scientific journals, that once had bragging rights to claim that the Shroud was fake, responding to new, peer-reviewed studies that discredit the carbon 14 dating and show that the Shroud could be authentic.


  1. The Shroud of Turin is certainly much older than the now discredited radiocarbon date of 1260-1390. It is at least twice as old and it could be 2000 years old.  FACTS
  2. Though no one knows how it was made, the image is a selective caramel-like darkening of an otherwise clear coating of starch fractions and various saccharides.  FACTS
  3. The blood is real blood.  FACTS
  4. Much of what we think we see in the image is an optical illusion FACTS

Shroud of Turin Facts Check: 2005 Facts